Daily News Kings ride fast start to shutout win against Blackhawks

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By MATT CARLSON The Associated Press

CHICAGO — Anze Kopitar scored two of the Kings’ four goals in the first period, and they beat the Chicago Blackhawks, 5-0, on Friday night.

Pierre-Luc Dubois, Alex Laferriere and Jordan Spence each had a goal and an assist to help the Kings rebound from a 3-1 loss in St. Louis on Wednesday. The Kings strengthened their hold on third place in the Pacific Division and a Western Conference playoff spot.

Cam Talbot made 28 saves in his third shutout of the season and No. 31 for his career.

Kopitar, the Kings’ 36-year-old captain, recorded his 19th and 20th goals off of pinpoint cross-ice passes from 21-year-old Quinton Byfield. He reached the 20-goal mark for the 13th time in 18 seasons.

Adrian Kempe had two assists for the Kings, who are 6-0-2 in their past eight games against Chicago dating to November 2019.

The Kings chased Chicago goalie Arvid Soderblom with 3:41 left in the first period after connecting on four of 14 shots. Petr Mrazek relieved and blocked 22 of 23 shots.

The last-place Blackhawks were blanked for the 10th time after winning two straight games for only the second time this season. Chicago scored 14 goals in the back-to-back victories.

Dubois played in his 500th game. Spence, a defenseman, scored his first goal this season in 55 games.

Blackhawks prospect Landon Slaggert played in his first pro game. The 21-year-old forward was selected in the third round of the 2020 draft.

The Kings connected three times in a span of just under five minutes early in the first period.

Dubois scored his 15th goal 3:10 into the game, taking advantage of a power-play opportunity. Spence’s wide shot from the slot bounced off the backboards, and Dubois ripped in the puck from the left circle on a sharp angle.

Laferriere got his 10th at 5:33 on a mid-air deflection of Matt Roy’s drive from the top of the right circle.

Kopitar made it 3-0 at 8:03, firing into a wide-open net from the right circle after taking Byfield’s pass from the left side. Both the feed and Kopitar eluded Chicago rookies Connor Bedard and Kevin Korchinski.

Kopitar scored again at 14:09, this time from the left edge of the crease, after Byfield reached him with a nifty backhand pass from the right circle.

Spence made it 5-0 at 2:31 of the third when his shot from a sharp angle hit Mrazek and slithered in.

Talbot made one of his few tough saves on a point-blank deflection by Jason Dickinson with three minutes left in the second.

UP NEXT​


The Kings play at the Dallas Stars on Saturday at 5 p.m. PT.

More to come on this story.

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